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Old 08-12-2015, 12:54 PM   #15
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As new as your Interstate is, I would think all this should be under warranty, correct?

Mine has never shuddered, and I have never heard nor read of that with any Class B......but, we had a 77 Barth before our Interstate, and when it began shuddering in Colorado the front end had gone out.

None of this should be happening with a new rig, it doesn't sound like to me, and I hope you address these things under warranty rather than out of your own pocket.

Keep us posted.


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Old 08-12-2015, 01:44 PM   #16
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When I am braking, and the van gets down between 30-40 mph, I start to let up on the brake and the van shudders. It makes a noise, like a grinding noise, and it physically shakes a bit, then all of that goes away and it functions normally until I'm fully braked.
I'll propose something completely different than others have suggested. Bear with me:

The next time this happens as you've described, try to immediately repeat it. But, instead of using the brakes to slow your speed, just allow the van to coast without touching the brakes until you reach the targeted 30-40 miles per hour.

If and when the symptoms reoccur, immediately (you'll have to be quick) bump the gear shift lever to the left (D-) one time to manually downshift the transmission to 4th. At this point, if the shuddering stops, you'll know the issue is not brake or alignment related and most likely related to the transmission torque converter.

It's hard to say if there's a legitimate problem or just that the operating conditions during the usual occurrence are such that the torque converter is in a partial unlock state when the transmission begins to automatically downshift from 5th. I have on occasion noticed something similar with my 3500 Sprinter when towing a loaded car hauler.

The "grinding" noise is difficult to interpret without actually experiencing it, but may just be drive-line noise as a reaction to the shuttering. It seems to me that if the problem was actually a mechanical grinding and something with the brakes, alignment, or wheel bearings, there would be obvious external evidence of the problem. Any vehicle mechanic should be able to see it.

If the diagnosis I've suggested pans out, I'd suggest explaining the results to an MB Sprinter dealer and try to get them to not blow you off. From the sounds of your prior experience, this may require a trip to Nashville, ???, or a call to MB Customer Assistance.

Good luck and let us know how you make out.
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Old 08-12-2015, 02:43 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by kfrere View Post
Since picking up our 2016 Interstate last month I have taken it on 3 weekend trips - total about 700 driving miles. When I am braking, and the van gets down between 30-40 mph, I start to let up on the brake and the van shudders. It makes a noise, like a grinding noise, and it physically shakes a bit, then all of that goes away and it functions normally until I'm fully braked.
I have owned Class B vans since 1982. Your van is not broken in yet. Engine, tranny, suspension all needto wear in. You may be going to dealer a bit soon. Warrenty is long.

I have found heavy vans can't be driven like a light car. Get the engine up in power band in EACH gear when gaining speed. You can't get into OD then gain speed like in a little car.

Brakes are different, too. If you apply light pedal pressure you will feel the rotors as a vibration. Use a firm pedal pressure. If you don't need firm pressure, get OFF the brakes.

Don't lay your foot on the brake pedal & lightly slow down like you do in a small car.
Big van brakes want to be hot and feel a heavy foot.

Ignore this advice & you will feel shaky braking & spend lots of time in the shop, but nothing will ever get better.

Sir, you now have a truck. It will be rough and it should be driven like the truck it is.

You may have some mechanical issue but it will out itself in a few thousand miles. Drive your van like a truck & these issues may very well just go away by driving.

I recommend a quick coast to coast trip !
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Old 08-12-2015, 03:04 PM   #18
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You probably need a front-end alignment. Airstream doesn't do one after they do the conversion, so it's probably aligned for an empty van, not for its present curb weight or its present weight distribution.
Protagonist makes a good point. Often, the conversion mfg. does not align after building the van into a Class B. I don't know the A/S or dealer policy on this.

My new Coach House had a placard stating that the owner should get the MC aligned. My local Ford dealer's truck dept. set the camber with shims & it has been perfect for 18 years. Coach House reimbursed the alignment's cost.

The alignment likely has nothing to do with your complaint, but it needs to be done anyway.
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Old 08-14-2015, 06:44 PM   #19
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Update: Freightliner called to tell me that they have not yet done alignment but have done the "transmission software update" that was needed. Like the AC compressor another thing I wasn't expecting. Wonder if that can somehow be related to my shudder problem.



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Old 08-14-2015, 06:56 PM   #20
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Could anyone imagine spending $150k on a New Vehicle that is out of alignment ?

And they don't tell you its out of alignment,so every mile you drive is prematurely wearing out your very expensive tires?

???
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Old 08-14-2015, 07:03 PM   #21
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Sounds like a rotor problem to me too.
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Old 08-15-2015, 08:38 AM   #22
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Could anyone imagine spending $150k on a New Vehicle that is out of alignment ?

And they don't tell you its out of alignment,so every mile you drive is prematurely wearing out your very expensive tires?

???

The need for an alignment is the dirty little secret of Sprinter based RV conversions. They all have this problem. At least Coach House tells its buyers to get it done. Part of the issue is the design of the Sprinter from suspension. It needs to be aligned at the nominal weight of the vehicle.


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Old 08-15-2015, 08:47 AM   #23
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The need for an alignment is the dirty little secret of Sprinter based RV conversions. They all have this problem. At least Coach House tells its buyers to get it done. Part of the issue is the design of the Sprinter from suspension. It needs to be aligned at the nominal weight of the vehicle.
Which means that for best alignment, you should also load it up with anything that you routinely carry before taking to to get the alignment done. Full fuel adds about 160 pounds all on the driver's side. Full water adds about 260 pounds, all on the driver's side. And so on, all of which can affect alignment.
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Old 08-15-2015, 09:33 AM   #24
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Exactly Protag. When I made my appointment for alignment at Sprinter dealer they told me to bring it in at the full weight I intended to drive it. Full fuel and full water. There is probably some range since obviously there won't be anyone in front seats during the alignment.


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Old 08-15-2015, 10:23 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by clarklaflare View Post
I'll propose something completely different than others have suggested. Bear with me:

The next time this happens as you've described, try to immediately repeat it. But, instead of using the brakes to slow your speed, just allow the van to coast without touching the brakes until you reach the targeted 30-40 miles per hour.

If and when the symptoms reoccur, immediately (you'll have to be quick) bump the gear shift lever to the left (D-) one time to manually downshift the transmission to 4th. At this point, if the shuddering stops, you'll know the issue is not brake or alignment related and most likely related to the transmission torque converter.

It's hard to say if there's a legitimate problem or just that the operating conditions during the usual occurrence are such that the torque converter is in a partial unlock state when the transmission begins to automatically downshift from 5th. I have on occasion noticed something similar with my 3500 Sprinter when towing a loaded car hauler.

The "grinding" noise is difficult to interpret without actually experiencing it, but may just be drive-line noise as a reaction to the shuttering. It seems to me that if the problem was actually a mechanical grinding and something with the brakes, alignment, or wheel bearings, there would be obvious external evidence of the problem. Any vehicle mechanic should be able to see it.

If the diagnosis I've suggested pans out, I'd suggest explaining the results to an MB Sprinter dealer and try to get them to not blow you off. From the sounds of your prior experience, this may require a trip to Nashville, ???, or a call to MB Customer Assistance.

Good luck and let us know how you make out.
I had never thought about this until reading the thread, and then having my van on the road yesterday for about a 100 mile round-trip.

i DID notice a shudder, and I would say it was exactly when the trans was down-shifting at between 45-55 mph, e.g. when I was forced to slow considerably in traffic on the interstate after previously cruising ~ 60mph (this is from memory as I wasn't tracking conditions perfectly). First I thought I was hitting a rough patch of road, but then I started noticing it a little more occasionally, probably because I was sensitized to it by this thread.

I"ve never noticed a grinding noise, and I realize I've been subconsciously just assuming it was relating to torque and downshifting, as if I was driving a manual and downshifted too late.

I will go for an alignment based on the various posts in this thread, especially since I've just put 5K miles on it since new and plan to drive from Chicago to California in a couple of months. Is it warranty with the MB dealer by any chance?
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Old 08-15-2015, 11:21 AM   #26
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Factory warranty notwithstanding, you won't find top notch alignment techs at any dealer. You need to go to an independent medium duty truck shop.

Look in the industrial section of town. Find a well-established independent truck shop in your area that services trucks like Isuzu NPR and Mitsubishi Fuso. Find out if they have an alignment rack that'll accommodate these trucks.

FYI - You need to do your own research. Don't trust the dealer to do that for you.

The thing to remember is this: Just because a dealer claims to service what he sells doesn't necessarily make it so. There are many things a dealer can't do (or more correctly, doesn't want to be bothered with). Alignment is one of them. Body work is another. Radiator repair, yet another. Tires, glass, upholstery, after-market accessories like electronics - the list does on. Whatever they can't do (or don't want to do) is subleted to other shops, whether qualified or not.

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Old 08-15-2015, 09:47 PM   #27
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True not all Mercedes dealers that claim to be able to service a Sprinter can do it correctly. We have one in Baltimore that just does not have knowledgeable mechanics when it comes to Sprinters. They messed up a simple fuel filter change for me back in 2013 during my 20,000 mile service that resulted in a flatbed ride back to the dealer thanks to Mercedes Roadside Assistance. I will never let them touch my Sprinter again. I now have all my service done by Sun Motors in Mechanicsburg, PA. They are the best Sprinter dealer in the eastern U.S.


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Old 08-15-2015, 10:46 PM   #28
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Older interstates had a driveshaft shudder on deceleration. Check the sprinter forums. Yours is newer but who knows.

My 2011 has it too!!


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